- FTSE closes up 1.5 points at 6,735.12
- LSE, housebuilders lead
- Barclays, StanChart slide
- US jobless figure in line
techMARK 2,802.12 +0.47%
FTSE 100 6,735.12 +0.02%
FTSE 250 15,646.83 +1.25%
It proved to be a turbulent session for London-listed stocks, with the top tier index ultimately closing barely in positive territory as it struggled to regain sharp losses that came at the opening of US markets this afternoon.
The FTSE 100 closed up just 1.5 points at 6,735.12.
The upside was led by the London Stock Exchange Group and housebuilders, but gains were limited by banking heavyweights Barclays and Standard Chartered.
IG Market Analyst Chris Beauchamp said: "Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon were among those seeing strong gains, as the Bank of England (BoE) governor failed even to flash a yellow light at the sector. Essentially the governor is throwing down the challenge to politicians, arguing that there is little the bank can do beyond impose limits on extreme lending.
"The FTSE's attempts to rally were hampered by a poorly-performing banking sector, as former sector darling Standard Chartered slumped 4% and Barclays dived 8%. Investors in the sector have been wearily braced for continual bad news for over five years now, and today indicates we haven't seen the end of it just yet."
UK economic news was notably limited today, with the main focus on the BoE's Financial Stability Review, at which Govenor Mark Carney announced a series of measures to cool the housing market, which it claims is the biggest risk to the economic recovery.
The news prompted the strong rise in housing - and related - stocks as investors breathed a sigh of relief at the proposals, which "look - at least at first sight - less draconian than many observers have feared", according to Alastair Stewart at Westhouse Securities.
Meanwhile, energy regulator Ofgem said it was planning to refer the energy market for a full competition investigation in an effort to "rebuild consumer trust and provide confidence for investors".
In line US jobless figures
Over in the States, initial weekly jobless claims were broadly in line with forecast, falling 2,000 to 312,000 in the week ended June 21st, after the previous week's estimate was revised up by 2,000 to 314,000. The consensus forecast was 310,000.
That came as data showed personal incomes had increased by 0.4% in May, as expected, after a 0.3% rise the month before. Consumer spending increased by just 0.2%, less than the predicted 0.4% growth, while the previous month was revised higher to show no growth.
Iraq PM confirms Syrian air strikes
In the latest from Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has confirmed that air strikes have been carried out by Syrian forces, according to the BBC.
The fighter jets on Tuesday dropped bombs on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) militants occupying the town of Qaim, on the Iraqi border with Syria, the leader said.
Barclays leads downside
Barclays plunged after confirming that it is subject to a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General related to alleged fraud in the bank's 'dark pool' equity-trading business.
Emerging markets-focused counterpart StanChart also slumped after saying it faced difficult trading conditions across the global financial markets during the first six months of 2014. Revenues in the first half are expected to be down by a "mid single-digit percentage" on last year, while operating profits have fallen around 20%.
Meanwhile, LSE is spending $2.7bn in cash on buying Frank Russell Company in a deal that will combine the group's Russell and FTSE index businesses. Investors seemingly gave a thumbs up to the acquisition with shares
rising strongly despite the announcement that it will be part-financed by a $1.6bn rights issue, which is intrinsically dilutive.
Housebuilders across the FTSE 350 jumped strongly as investors reacted positively to the new Bank of England measures to cool the housing market.
On the second tier, bwin.party was higher despite confirming it was not planning to sell or break up the company following recent press speculation.
Imagination Technologies continued to plunge after Barclays Capital cut its rating from 'equal weight' to 'underweight'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,984.00p +6.10%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,259.00p +5.00%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 362.90p +4.79%
ITV (ITV) 176.30p +4.01%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 866.00p +2.91%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,624.00p +2.72%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,050.00p +2.45%
St James's Place (STJ) 767.50p +2.40%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 194.25p +2.34%
IMI (IMI) 1,489.00p +2.34%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Barclays (BARC) 215.00p -6.52%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,203.00p -4.33%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,030.00p -1.85%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 594.60p -1.16%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 876.00p -1.13%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 181.60p -1.04%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,828.00p -0.80%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,495.00p -0.77%
Aviva (AV.) 499.80p -0.73%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,641.00p -0.68%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Supergroup (SGP) 1,043.00p +9.85%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,403.00p +7.02%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 266.80p +6.81%
Redrow (RDW) 267.60p +6.53%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 283.00p +6.51%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 1,135.00p +5.68%
Countrywide (CWD) 527.00p +5.19%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 109.90p +5.17%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 790.50p +4.98%
Workspace Group (WKP) 593.00p +4.86%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 287.30p -5.90%
Perform Group (PER) 235.00p -5.55%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 224.80p -5.07%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 231.20p -3.87%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,319.00p -2.80%
Lonmin (LMI) 240.60p -1.92%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,106.00p -1.69%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 132.20p -1.64%
Homeserve (HSV) 312.50p -1.51%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 200.30p -1.38%